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London to Las Vegas: My Creative LIAisons Highlights


Isobar Global designer Jack Gipp shares his thoughts following the Creative LIAsons in Las Vegas

London to Las Vegas: My Creative LIAisons Highlights

I recently attended the 2019 LIA Creative LIAisons program in Las Vegas, and it was one of the most exciting opportunities of my career so far.

LIAisons is an annual program open to creatives, and creatives only. Attendees aged 21–30 can meet, learn, and mingle with the creatives they look up to most in the industry — running concurrently with the judging for LIA. The program is funded by LIA and limited to 100 delegates.

Here are a few of my biggest takeaways.

Go from not to hot

Day two kicked off with what would turn out to be my favourite session of the entire program. Pum Lefebure, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Design Army spoke about the value of creating images that can’t be ignored.

Her passion and love for what she does became obvious as soon as she started to speak. She told us how she finds inspiration in just about everything and that you can create beautiful, bold and unexpected work for any client — even the ones that aren’t particularly sexy.

She backed this up with an in-depth look at her mouth-watering work for the Hong Kong Ballet and Georgetown Optician. “Opticians aren’t sexy” she said — and with both examples she demonstrated that you can create beautiful, exciting and enviable work for even the most mundane of brands.

Above: Never Standing Still, HK Ballet

Emotion is persuasive

Matt MacDonald, Group ECD at BBDO gave a brilliant presentation on how to present your work — and yourself. He opened by telling us that coming up with brilliant ideas is not the hard part — the hard part is convincing other people your ideas are brilliant.

It’s emotion that persuades people.

He told us to connect our ideas to a larger truth, purpose or insight and then use that to hook them emotionally. He used a distressing but extremely powerful ad from Sandy Hook Promise to demonstrate the power of emotion.

It’s all in the storytelling

The biggest perk of the program was the opportunity to be a fly on the wall in the judging rooms as the jurors awarded the shortlisted work. I sat in on the Branded Entertainment category, led by Kerstin Emhoff.

Each juror had a completely different point of view and it was really interesting to see how they discuss each piece of work and ultimately how high it ranks. A small comment or question from a juror would spark an entire debate, which by the end would change how the entire jury felt about a piece of work.

Above: Photo Credit: LIA

The discussions weren’t just around the work itself, quite often they would be about whether a particular piece of work was actually right for this category and whether it would be best suited elsewhere. I saw a few entries moved around to give the work an opportunity to really shine.

I found that the highest-praised pieces of work had two very important elements — beautiful storytelling and how they were packaged. I saw entries marked up (and down) for this.

Advertising might just change the world

Malcolm Poynton, Global CCO at Cheil closed out the program by discussing how in today’s world, brands have more power than governments to make change.

He spoke about finding opportunities and causes that are worth pursuing with existing clients. He shared a bunch of examples illustrating the power of brands, most notably, Black Supermarket by Carrefour. The campaign won numerous awards, changed EU laws and was a great example of a brand making a difference to the world we live in.

Jack Gipp is a designer at Isobar Global

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